Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) said it aims to secure a 10 percent share of the world’s electric vehicle market by 2025, with about 3 million vehicles potentially using its platform.
The electronics giant yesterday unveiled the plan to expand its nascent automobile business, saying that it seeks to offset slowing growth in its core consumer electronics assembly business.
The company also outlined plans to release a solid-state battery by 2024 that could potentially displace the more commonly used lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicles.
Hon Hai plans to achieve its ambitious target by making its software and hardware platforms “open,” Hon Hai chairman Young Liu (劉揚偉) said during the company’s first “Foxconn Technology Day” in Taipei.
Liu, who in July last year took over from Hon Hai founder Terry Gou, has turned to the emerging automotive, robotics and medical applications sectors to boost profitability amid plateauing growth in smartphone units in the past few years.
“With our open platform, we will share the results of our development with everybody. It is to be owned by everybody, to be improved upon by everybody. This includes the open software platform and the open undercarriage platform,” Liu said. “This will cut down on repeat investment and make the Taiwanese electric vehicle supply chain more competitive and faster to market.”
The first vehicle using the open platform would enter the market in two years, and up to 10 percent of the world’s electric vehicles would be developed on the platform by 2025 to 2027, Liu said.
Hon Hai chief technology officer William Wei (魏國張) said that the company’s open software platform would make their vehicles “software defined” cars.
“The traditional car depreciates as soon as you drive it off the lot, but a software-defined car can be upgraded by software updates,” Wei said. “In a closed system, you cannot have collaboration. Through our open platform, we can work together and shorten the development cycle. This lowers the entry barrier for developers.”
“Sector insider Paul Graham said that Tesla is the iPhone of electric vehicles, but there is no Android yet,” Wei said. “We plan to be the Android.”
Hon Hai’s development partners include Taiwan’s Yulon Motor Co (裕隆汽車) and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV.
Hon Hai chief product officer Jerry Hsiao (蕭才祐) said the reason for Hon Hai’s confidence is that it controls key technologies for batteries and other vital components.
“Why Hon Hai? It is because we have the advantage in key components,” Hsiao said, adding that solid-state batteries and battery management through artificial intelligence would give Hon Hai the edge.
“The battery accounts for up to 35 percent of the cost of the vehicle,” Hsiao said. “Hon Hai will release the first commercial solid state battery in 2024.”
Smart battery management would improve battery performance, Hsiao said, adding that Hon Hai’s batteries “can even improve with time.”
The company’s self-driving technology is already being used in some airport shuttles in Japan, the company said.
Hon Hai last year generated almost NT$9.5 billion (US$327.82 million) in sales from automotive components.
The company is hoping that automotive and other new business branches can help boost its gross margin to 10 percent by 2025.
MOMENTUM: While next-generation smartphones feature more semiconductors and vendors increase their inventory, the chipmaker remains focused on production in Taiwan Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), the sole chip supplier for Apple Inc’s iPhone series, yesterday raised its revenue forecast again, saying that robust demand for 5G smartphones and high-performance-computing (HPC) would help boost revenue this year by 30 percent in US dollar terms. Three months ago, the chipmaker estimated that revenue would grow 20 percent this year from last year, reaching its long-term growth target of 15 to 20 percent annually. “Moving into the fourth quarter, we expect our growth in revenue to be supported by strong demand for our industry-leading 5-nanometer technology driven by 5G smartphone launches and HPC-related applications,”
WIN-WIN SITUATION: Customers, products and client portfolios of the companies are complementary, allowing for inroads into new fields, Chipbond’s chairman said Chipbond Technology Corp (頎邦) yesterday said it plans to acquire about a 31 percent stake in Orient Semiconductor Electronics Ltd (華泰電子) in a cash-and-share deal, aiming to make inroads into flash memory-chip packaging. Chipbond said the strategic alliance would open the door for the company to enter the flash memorychip packaging and testing market, which is a new business for the Hsinchu-based company. Chipbond primarily provides testing and packaging services for driver integrated circuits that are used in flat panels. BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY “Except for flash memory chips, we also saw a lot of new businesses that require the technologies of Chipbond or Oriental
India’s COVID-19 economic gloom turned into despair this week, on news that its per capita GDP for this year might be lower than that of Bangladesh. “Any emerging economy doing well is good news,” Kaushik Basu, a former World Bank chief economist, said on Twitter after the IMF updated its World Economic Outlook. “But it’s shocking that India, which had a lead of 25% five years ago, is now trailing.” Ever since it began opening up the economy in the 1990s, India’s dream has been to emulate China’s rapid expansion. After three decades of persevering with that campaign, slipping behind Bangladesh hurts
Luxury hotel Mandarin Oriental Taipei (文華東方酒店) plans to reopen its guestrooms in December to take advantage of a boom in domestic travel. The reopening would come six months after the five-star facility suspended room operations to cut costs as countries across the region impose border controls to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, diminishing demand for business travel. “We are delighted to share that Mandarin Oriental Taipei will resume room operations on December 1,” the hotel said in a statement yesterday. The hotel in Songshan District (松山) said it would adopt stringent health and safety practices to ensure the well-being of its guests and employees. It